The bright black and yellow barriers in front of the flowerbeds and large concrete curbs. (Peninsula News Review Staff)

Confusing parking lot blamed for cars tipping into flowerbeds at Peninsula Canadian Tire

Tow and repairs cost thousands, engineer says drivers’ responsibility, Canadian Tire stay quiet

Since opening, the parking lot of the North Saanich branch of Canadian Tire has been the venue for a rash of unusual auto crashes.

Over a dozen drivers have suffered similar incidents, in some cases, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage to their cars.

ALSO READ: Central Saanich police respond to variety of crimes in May, from murder to mischief

Local resident David Fisher, was visiting the store on Victoria Day to pick up some fertilizer, when he had his incident. He drove forwards into a parking bay and then hurried into the store, braving a downpour of rain. Shopping completed, he got back in his car and seeing the parking bays in his side window clear and the bay in front of him seemingly empty, thought he could drive forwards to get out. As he drove slowly forwards he heard and felt a double crunch. His front wheels had gone over an unseen concrete curb lining a drainage ditch. His car was now see-sawed over the curb, which had firmly dug into the underside of his car. The car needed towing and has, so far, cost $9,000 to repair.

“I was only driving slowly but I didn’t have the reflexes to hit the brakes. There’s no vegetation there, no bushes or trees, or a sign. If there had been, then you’d realize you couldn’t drive forward and what would happen if you did. There was no warning whatsoever, as far as I’m concerned.”

Unfortunately his experience hasn’t been unique. Towing companies and local bodyshops confirm many cars have suffered the same fate at the parking lot.

ALSO READ: Green Party calls Salish Sea ‘free parking lot for world’s largest container ships’

Since opening, extra barriers, painted brightly in wasp yellow, have been placed in front of the curbs, although Fisher points out because they are smaller, and similarly shaped to ramps, could possibly act as steps. Soil and young trees have also been bedded, suggesting the ditches, which dot the parking lot, could be turned into large flowerbeds.

“I talked to Canadian Tire twice. The first time I talked to the woman on Customer Services and she went ‘Oh yeah, you’re not the first, here’s a list of tow-trucks.’ She had them to hand, which suggested it was a fairly common occurrence, as far as I could see,” said Fisher.

The towing company told him they had pulled out a number of cars since the store opened and Fisher says a passing customer even pulled over to say she had experienced the same thing a few weeks before. When he got home he called Canadian Tire and says he was told by a manager they were fully aware of the problem but it was the responsibility of the property owners.

The company that built the parking lot confirmed it was built to code and passed all bylaws. Ryan Lesyshen, a mechanical engineer of Kerr Wood Leidal said he was not aware of the exact number of cars damaged but admitted, “My client has received complaints regarding cars driven over curbs and into the raingardens [flower beds].”

ALSO READ: Rules grounding high flight crews for 28 days likely to be challenged

He said the owner of the building and parking lot is “hopeful that the addition of some taller plantings in the gardens [flower beds] will assist drivers with spatial awareness,” adding, “Spatial awareness is a driver’s responsibility.”

Fisher questions if it solely the driver’s fault if the same type of accident keeps happening. He has now been without his car for four weeks, had to pay a $300 deductable and is worried his clean driving record of 20 years is now at risk of increased insurance premiums.

As of Monday, Canadian Tire hadn’t replied to requests for comment on any of the issues raised and the North Saanich branch was unreachable by phone.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Some of the flower beds have young trees growing from them, others have no vegetation. (Peninsula News Review Staff)

Just Posted

‘Best in the country’: Formerly homeless man praises Victoria’s outreach services

Jay W. was living on the streets of downtown Victoria in 2018

Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

View Royal fire chief asks for an end to alcohol consumption at busy park

City of Victoria plans workshop to determine fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Conversations will happen as part of a reconciliation dialogue series in May 2020

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital home to new cancer diagnostic suite

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads, now free to public

1,500 plants recorded in garden, including 1,000-year-old Douglas Fir

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

EDITORIAL: Trees at the heart of Sooke

Two largely unrelated stories surfaced this week that might lead one to… Continue reading

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Most Read